SOUTH WALES SCORPIONS 4 OLDHAM 18 (abandoned after 72 minutes)

Date published: Monday, March 3, 2014
WE now await the verdict of the RFL as to whether this score will stand as a result, referee Adam Gill having abandoned the game near the end in atrocious conditions and with player safety in mind.
He was supported in his decision by the match commissioner and, crucially perhaps in terms of the RFL’s considerations, by both clubs.
Driving rain and sleet had lashed the Maesteg ground throughout the game and conditions deteriorated badly in the second half when a fierce wind blew straight down the ground, situated outside the town on a hill top at the head of the Llynfi Valley.
Players on both teams were starting to suffer from hypothermia-type symptoms and two of them, our own Dale Bloomfield and the home side’s Phil Carleton, had already been escorted off and taken to the warmth of the dressing room in order to recover.
In such dreadful conditions good rugby was an impossibility. It quickly became necessary to adjust tactics accordingly and to play to a plan which reduced the likelihood of handling errors and concentrated heavily on establishing and retaining territorial advantage.
In a game of 31 scrums, with an even spread to both teams, we opened the scoring on 19 minutes when Bloomfield expertly gathered in a wide pass from Josh Crowley to cross in the corner for Sammy Gee to land a superb goal from the touchline.
We were to extend that lead just before half time when Adam Files went in for one of his trademark tries from dummy half, Gee again adding the extra points.
Skipper Lewis Palfrey, who started on the bench, came on for the second half, but it was Scorpions (this time with the wind behind them) who started off the stronger. They were rewarded with a try in the corner by winger Alex Jones.
After that, and despite playing into a howling gale, Roughyeds regained the ascendancy to stretch their lead with another try by Steven Nield and then a Palfrey penalty goal which gave the visitors a 14-point lead and thus edged Scorpions out of bonus-point territory.
This was a solid team performance by Roughyeds in which every man played his part, but none more so than starting props Jason Boults and Michael Ward, who were particularly damaging when they returned for their second spells midway through the second half.
Scorers: Oldham — goals, Gee (2), Palfrey (1); tries, Bloomfield, Files, Nield; Scorpions — try, Jones.
Oldham team: Whitehead; Nield, Cookson, Gee, Bloomfield; Robinson, Hughes; Ward, Whitmore, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Thompson. Subs: Files, Mooneyk Davidson, Palfrey.
Ref: Adam Gill; Att: 458.